Fish finder install made easy

Fish finder install made easy
By: Tony Heredia

Well I finally did it, it only took a polar vortex to force me to install a fish finder on my Jackson Coosa HD. Actually, it was a combination of things like wanting to fish more tournaments and lakes but cabin fever sure is a good motivator. I couldn’t get out on the water so I decided to take on a little modification project that would help me find more fish when I eventually do get back out there. After doing a lot of research, reading articles, watching videos and talking to a bunch of people, I pulled the trigger on a Raymarine, Dragonfly-7 Pro.


Next was the install. For this step, I did more research and even reached out to fellow Jackson kayak owner, Matt T. Ball to help give me an idea of where to begin. I then had to decide where where I wanted to mount the display screen and how to do so cleanly, to minimize the likelihood of snags. For this, I chose to make use of the center console in that it would allow me to store all of the excess wiring and the battery out of the way.
Note: For this type of install, you will need the following tools and accessories:
Drill bits, (in the size of the hole you intend to drill) and a hole saw bit 2” diameter
Drill, (cordless is preferable)
Phillips head screwdriver
12” length of bungee cord
(2) ¾ stainless steel screws 10/24 pitch (these will match the brass inserts that hold the center console)
6-8 small zip ties
Plastic cutting board, (approx. 3/8 inch thick)
Dremel tool with a #952 grinding stone
A sharpie, to make your marks
Clear packing tape, (to help make hole marks prior to cutting or drilling)
Fish finder battery, ( I recommend the Nocqua pro power kit)

 

Once I put this tool kit together, I very quickly realized that I was missing a 3” Yakattack gear track that I needed to mount the fish finder onto the pre-threaded brass inserts that Jackson uses to attach the center console to the Coosa, located at the front of the cock-pit. A quick trip to Shank’s Mare Outfitters was required. Once this was accomplished, I threaded the transducer wires through the transducer scupper hole molded into the kayak and pulled the transducer to make it lay as flush to the kayak as possible. When I realized that it still stuck out past the bodyline of the bottom of the kayak, I fired up the dremel tool and used the sanding stone to shave away some of the excess plastic on the transducer mounting bracket. This allowed the bracket to feed into the scupper hole at a “close” to 90 degree angle and aligned the transducer so as to fit snugly into the recess designed for this purpose. To hold it in place, I threaded the bungee through a hole in the transducer mounting bracket, (manufactured by Raymarine), and tied (2) knots to keep it held tightly in place. The tag ends of the bungee were then threaded through a center hole I had drilled through a 2” circle of plastic cutting board. This end was then tied off and the transducer wire was fed up through a notch drilled out of the edge of this circle. (note: please cut the notch out before tying the bungee).


Once this was accomplished, I and fellow kayak angler, Adam Gagne connected the pre-stripped wires to the battery with (2) marine grade butt connectors that are supplied with the Nocqua battery kit. Note: you will need a crimping tool for this step. Then to make the connection nice and water tight, we covered it all up with shrink wrap, applied a little heat uniformly and wrapped it all up with electrical tape for good measure.


The final step was coiling all the excess wiring and fastening the coils with zip ties. I then turned the power on, confirmed it was working and that all of the fittings were snug. Now all that is needed is a little cooperation from mother nature. Whether or not I will find fish is another tale, but I’ll have fun trying.

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